Spring Pond Clean-Out
Creative Ponds & Landscapes is a pond & landscape design & installation company specializing in backyard ponds, waterfalls, pondless waterfalls, fountains, assorted water features, low voltage landscape lighting & landscapes in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul MN & surrounding area.
Early spring is the best time to clean out and prepare your Minnesota pond for the new season.
Spring clean-outs remove excessive nutrients that feed spring algae blooms. Your clean-out should take place as early as possible before the water temperature is consistently at 50-55 degrees. At 50-55 degrees the beneficial bacteria has just started to come alive. Performing the clean-out after the bacteria has become established will likely upset the ecosystem and the pond could go thru an algae bloom. Your spring cleanout should start in the surrounding yard and landscape area. Remove and bag any left over leaves and perform other yard work planned near the pond.
Using a pump with a discharge hose begin emptying your pond. If your fish were over wintered in the pond they will need to be removed. This is best done when the pond is nearly empty. When the remaining water is 6-8” deep net your fish and store them in large buckets or tubs of pond water. Remove any leaves and large debris from the pond. With your pump in the deepest part of the pond begin hosing down the rock and gravel with a garden hose and spray nozzle or a low powered pressure washer. Begin at the top of the pond and work your way down. Leave your discharge pump running as you clean the rock and gravel. By doing this you will remove the suspended debris. Continue this process until the discharge water begins to run clean. During the spring cleanout you should make any repairs and adjustments needed. It is also a good time to tend to your plants. Remove dead foliage and divide the plant if it has become overgrown for its location. Also clean and connect any biological filters used.
Owners of the Aquascape Designs Ecosystem will want to thoroughly clean the Biofalls® and skimmer mats with the hose and once clean replace them in the Biofalls® and skimmer. The lava stone in the Biofalls® should be thoroughly cleaned, turning the bags as you hose them off will help. Replace the cleaned bagged lava evenly over the Biofalls® filter mats. At this time reconnect your pump and check valve assembly in the skimmer.
Begin refilling your pond with water. If your water is treated, add the appropriate amount of water conditioner and dechlorinator to the new pond water. Place your fish holding buckets on a plant shelve or other area in the pond so the water in the bucket can become the same temperature as the pond water, about 20-25 minutes. Periodically introduce a small amount of new water into the holding bucket. The fish should now be ready to be released into their clean home. Plug the pump in when the pond is refilled and monitor the system for a day or two to ensure proper operation.
Adding Beneficial Bacteria: When water temperatures consistently reach 50-55 degrees it is time to begin adding bacteria to the pond on a regular basis until water temperatures rise and plants begin to grow.
Now that summer has arrived water temperatures rise, the pond finds its balance, and Mother Nature does most of the work for you.
Fall is a great time to be outdoors enjoying your pond. The biggest chore at this time of year will be removing the falling and blowing leaves. For those with skimmers this task is much easier. Do not forget to frequently check and empty the debris net or pump damage could occur. If you do not have a skimmer use a fine mesh long handled net to remove the leaves from the pond. It is best to contain the leaves in the surrounding yard and landscape before removing those in the pond.
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